Summer Academy Students

Summer Academy courses are rigorous and designed specifically for district identified students. Because of this differentiation, the
following criteria describe the Academy student:

  • Enjoyment of intense study and challenge
  • Willingness to become involved
  • High degree of motivation
  • Desire and drive to complete projects
  • Successful group interaction skills
  • Self-disciplined
  • Emotional maturity
  • Cooperative nature

Student criteria also include:

  • Recommendation of his/her local district
  • Completion of at least grade one
  • Commitment to attend all days of the Academy

Summer Academy Slideshow

Summer Academy Animoto 2019

About The Program

Summer Academy hosts over 1,250 students and 60 classes every summer. Students come from across the north metro area, and we want to make your first year at Summer Academy the best possible experience.

  • Campus
  • Arrival
  • Dismissal
  • Breaks/Food
  • Field Trip
  • Media
  • Communication
  • Safety
  • Forms


Summer Academy holds all classes at the Columbia Heights High School and Highland Elementary. These schools are located on the same campus, and are approximately 50 yards apart from one another. Approximately two-thirds of our classes are held at the high school, and the other one-third are held at Highland Elementary.


Classes begin at 8:00 each day at Summer Academy. Free continental breakfast is served at both of the buildings starting at 7:30. Students can go to their classroom at 7:50. If you are dropping off your child, you may drive in front of the high school or elementary, but you may not park your car in front of the schools. If you would like to walk your child to class, please park in the parking lots across from the schools and walk your child to his or her classroom. If your child is taking a bus, the bus will drop the children off at the high school, and we will make sure your child gets to the correct building and classroom each day.


Students are dismissed from class between 11:50-11:55am. With 1,400 students being dismissed from two schools, we have systems in place ensuring everyone is dismissed and finds their transportation safely. On the first day, we will dismiss our students earlier to ensure every student safely arrives with their transportation home.

Picking Up

If you are picking up your child, please find a specific landmark to meet your child each day. If you are late, your child will know to wait at the landmark until you arrive. In addition, we will have a Summer Academy staff member wait with your child until he or she is picked up. We do not allow parents to pick up their children at the classroom. We ask that all meeting places be outside of the school building, but on school grounds.

If you are waiting for your child to arrive home on the bus, you can follow our Twitter account from our home page or by following @NSSummerAcademy. We will tweet out the times the buses leave each day. Buses typically leave 10-15 minutes after the Summer Academy day is complete. Please allow additional time on the first day of dismissal.

If the transportation plans change for your child, please send a note with your child or call the office, 651-895-7337.


Students will get a break each day, at which time they are given an opportunity to consume their snack. Students can bring a snack from home or they can purchase a snack for $.50 at a concession stand, which is operated by a Summer Academy class called “Pay to the Order.” We have a peanut-free zone in the cafeteria, but we do not have a peanut-free zone outside on the playground.

Free breakfast is available each day for students at both buildings. On extended days, the students are offered a free lunch prepared by the Columbia Heights nutrition service, or they can bring a lunch from home. A typical free lunch consists of a turkey sandwich, SunChips, carrots, apple and milk.

Field Trip

Almost every class will take at least one field trip. Most of the field trips take place on the extended days (8:00am-2:30pm). Teachers will communicate more information about field trips, and many field trips need parents to help chaperone. If you are selected as a chaperone for the field trip, you will need to stop by the Summer Academy office, located in the high school, to complete a background check before you go. The background check takes less than 5 minutes. During registration, the field trip permission option was given. If you are concerned you have not given permission, please contact Summer Academy.


During registration, media release permission was given as an option. Please know we only use pictures and video of students on our Summer Academy website to communicate the activities of classes. If a media release is not given, we will keep your child from photographs or video we take.


Summer Academy office hours begin at 7:00 AM and end an hour after class is completed. If you are calling after office hours about an absence, please leave your name, your child’s name and your child’s class. If you are calling about a specific concern, please leave a message, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Teachers will communicate the best way to contact them. To ensure the optimal learning experience for students, we do not allow phone calls into the classroom during Summer Academy hours.

Departure times for students are updated every day on our Twitter account here: @NSSummerAcademy and on our homepage


The safety and security of students at Summer Academy is our top priority.  We have implemented the following measures to ensure each student is kept safe:

Transportation information and maps are emailed to families in May.  A security guard is on campus, and we are supported by the Columbia Heights police department.

All fist grade students will be issued stickers with transportation information on day 1.  Please discuss these transportation details with your child, and be sure the sticker is visible on your child.

All Summer Academy staff – teachers, teacher’s assistants, program assistants – will be wearing orange vests on campus and during field trips. All volunteers, including field trip chaperones, must complete a background check.